There was sure a lot of talk about how far defenseman Ryan Merkley could slide down the draft rankings, just before the entry draft had started. The kid had carried a reputation of being a selfish player that is hard to manage, but the San Jose Sharks felt strongly about him. They took him with their 1st round pick, 21st overall, and not only that, signed him to his 3-year entry-level deal on Wednesday as well.
With 67 points in 63 games in Guelph of the OHL, Merkley certainly put up the numbers to be a 1st round pick in the entry draft and the Sharks may have came up big, if they can wrangle him into their system and get him to succeed at the top level.
The Sharks do have some bubble players on their blueline, but as much as their could be space for their new prospect, playing defense at the NHL level will probably require another year or two of seasoning before making the leap.